Amazon is preparing to launch an ebook subscription service called Kindle Unlimited, according to a page on the online retailer’s website that’s now been taken offline.
Above: A screenshot of the now removed webpage for Amazon’s Kindle Unlimited service.
Kindle Unlimited will apparently give Amazon customers access to over 600,000 book titles for $10 per month, according to the leaked webpage, which was first spotted by GigaOm. This would pit Amazon against services like Oyster, which offers a Netflix-like unlimited service for ebooks, and a growing list of others, like children’s book-focused Epic.
An Amazon ebook subscription service would make a lot of sense for the company, considering it built the Kindle for the sole purpose of growing the market for digital books. If it can get people to buy both a Kindle (either the ereader or a Kindle Fire Tablet) and a monthly subscription, it could generate greater revenue overall. I’m guessing that, of the 600,000 titles available, there won’t be a lot of new releases. That means Amazon still has an opportunity to grab more of your money.
Amazon already offers an ebook lending library program, which allows customers to “check out” books to read for a limited period of time, but you’re limited to one book at a time. And as GigaOm points out, many of the titles offered in the lending library program seem to be available through Kindle Unlimited, at least according to one page on Amazon’s site that’s still online. (Notice the reference to “KU Test,” which presumably stands for Kindle Unlimited.)
We’re reaching out to Amazon for further comment and will update this post with any additional information we learn.
Above: Another shot of the Amazon KU Test page.